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Loews XTERRA West Cup This Saturday
From the managing director of the XTERRAWorld Tour, “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas...
Let the U.S. season begin. Well, actually it began in late March, but for the new Cup series, it begins this Saturday, May 2, with the XTERRA West Cup at Lake Las Vegas. This tawny resort sits just 30 minutes east of the strip and features several fabulous resorts, shopping, condos, homes and of course; a big lake.
We'll start at the beach of the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort, swim under the pedestrian bridge and out to the desert for T1 and some gnarly desert biking and running. The pro field is in force here along with a bundle of athletes in our new XTERRA team competition.
It seems as if every year we talk about Conrad first, and it will take some fast racing to get him off the top step. He will have his hands full with Nico Lebrun, the 3-time XTERRA European Champ and 2005 World Champ who had the measure of Conrad at three races in Europe last year.
Dan Hugo is back in his quest to unseat his South African countryman and Yanks Josiah Middaugh, Brian Smith and Seth Wealing are all anxious to get those points so critical to becoming the US Pro Champ. Mike Vine is coming off a strong Saipan second and we have two wild cards to throw into the mix - Jasper Blake, well know former Ironman Canada champ is going off-road for the first time and the legendary mountain bike/triathlon pro Steve Larsen is coming back to his roots where he staged those epic battles with Ned Overend in 2001. How they will do is anybody's guess.
In the women's race, Melanie McQuaid certainly has to be the favorite based on history, but Shonny Vanlandingham is getting her XTERRA chops in order and did a great race to test her ankle in Saipan with a 3rd overall and fastest bike.
Switzerland's Renata Bucher, a 3-time XTERRAEuropean Tour Champ, will be at Las Vegas fresh off another Saipan Championship in front of reigning XTERRAWorld Champ Julie Dibens. The heat will not bother her in Nevada after Saipan.
Scotland's Lesley Patterson had a good first year and Danelle Kabush, Christine Jeffrey and Jenny Smith are never out of the mix. A newcomer to XTERRA summer is Rebecca Dussault, the reigning XTERRA Winter champ and ex Olympic skier.
So the first win of the new Cup Era is up for grabs this Saturday. If you won't be in Vegas with us, there are a lot more options for you in the next few months so get active, get online and look over our Cup series and see how you can race close to home - Live More!
MORE ABOUT THE NEW TEAM COMPETITION
Mel McQuaid is coming to Vegas with a brood that would make the OctaMom envious. The MelRad Racing team is gunning to take the first ever team competition and bringing 14 members. They don't have it locked up as teams from Snrgy and EPC out of Colorado and XTERRA ambassador teams with members from California, Nevada and Minnesota will be on the start line too.
If you are saying to yourself, "what is the team competition", it's easy. Make up a team from your XTERRA friends. Enter races - you enter just as always, there are no extra fees to be part of the team competition and you still race for individual honors.
Scoring: Teams designate four amateur athletes from at least three different divisions (all men, all women, co-ed, it doesn't matter so long as you don't have more than two in the 30-34 men's division, as an example).
Enter as many 4-person teams as you want (ex. Melrad 1, Melrad 2, etc..). Hand Dave Nicholas (or the race director) the names and age groups of your four designated racers prior to the race start.
Each of the teams four designated racers will be scored on their finishing position in their division with points as follows: 1st (100), 2nd (90), 3rd (82), 4th (75), 5th (69), 6th (63), 7th (58), 8th (53), 9th (49), 10th (45).
In addition, each member will receive an additional point for every finisher in their division (example ... Joe Schmo finishes 1st in the 35-39 age group = 100pts, and there were 15 finishers in the 35-39 division, so Joe's score is 100 + 15 = 115).
Add together all four team members’ scores and the squad with the most points wins.
XTERRA RETURNS TO THE BAY AREA
For the first time since 2002 (XTERRA West Champs at Half Moon Bay), an XTERRA off-road tri will be held in the Bay Area with the inaugural XTERRA Del Valle at Del Valle Regional Park, 10 miles south of Livermore in the East Bay on Sunday May 10.
The centerpiece of the scenic venue is a five-mile Lake Del Valle surrounded by trails, oak trees and rolling hills. After hosting the Red Tail Adventure Race at Del Valle in 2008, Big Blue Adventure race director Todd Jackson said he realized the lush open space east of San Francisco was an ideal locale for an off-road triathlon.
“I saw the need for off-road triathlons in the Bay Area,” Jackson said. “A race that’s close to home for a lot of athletes.”
Jackson said the race venue has it all: singletrack, fireroads, steep climbs and descents; not to mention the wildflowers, views of a lake and “a great place to bring the family.”
“The race is going to be challenging,” Jackson said. “It’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be fun.”
Racers can choose between a short course off-road triathlon consisting of a 600-meter swim, 13-mile mountain bike and 5k run or the full-course XTERRA point- series race consisting of a 1200-meter swim, 22-mile mountain bike and 10k run. Competitors looking for XTERRA USA Championships qualifying points are required to compete in the long course triathlon.
To register or for more information go to www.bigblueadventure.com.
GARDNER, BUCHER WIN PIC DOUBLE
Sam Gardner of the UK and Renata Bucher of Switzerland capped a nearly month long stint in the Northern Mariana Islands by winning the Pacific Islands Club Double award (given to the men's and women's pro with the fastest combined time in the XTERRA Saipan Championship and the Tagaman road triathlon). Bucher won the Tagaman on Saturday, which celebrated its 20th year with a $20,000 prize purse, while Gardner placed second behind Japan's Masauki Matsumaru but his combined time of 5:36:35 was still 15 minutes better than defending PIC Double champ Andrew Noble of Australia (who was 4th in XTERRA and 3rd at Tagaman). The incredibly scenic island road tri combines a 2km swim with a 60km bike part from one side of the island to the other, and a 15km run along beach road. Bucher topped local pro Mieko Carey with a total time of 6:24:35 (2:56:55 in XTERRA and 3:28:18 in Tagaman). With the victories, the European duo earned their tickets back to the islands (the ultimate pre-season training grounds), a sweet week-long stay at the lush PIC Resort, and some spending money. Athletes can plan on joining the two in 2010 by following www.saipansports.com. Check out a quick video from XTERRA Saipan at www.xterra.tv.
MASON, ORTLUND WIN CHICOPEE 10K
Runners from six states flocked to the Elachee Nature Center outside Atlanta for the fifth race in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series. More than 200 athletes ranging in age from 15-68 lined up at the start for the XTERRA Chicopee Woods 10-kilometer Trail Run, which Holly Ortlund and Greg Mason mastered. Read more.
FRASER, EAKIN WIN AT FT. YARGO
Birmingham, Alabama amateur standout Omar Fraser (pictured) won the XTERRA Ft. Yargo off-road tri in Winder, Georgia over the weekend, toping fellow XTERRA notables Fred Smith from Knoxville and Casey Fannin from 'Bama in the process. In the women's race former XTERRA World Champ Tina Eakin won her second points series race in three weeks. See complete results here.
XTERRA UWHARRIE PREVIEW
Now in its third year, the XTERRA Uwharrie off-road tri is quickly becoming one of the must-do's of the XTERRA America Tour, with an endorsement from XTERRA Ambassador Scott Scudamore who says “This is the best course I’ve ever raced on”.
With an open water swim in the pristine Badin Lake, an epic mountain bike ride in one of the oldest mountain ranges in North America in the Uwharrie National Forest and a beautiful trail run along the Badin Lake hiking trail.
Once again this year Uwharrie is offering free camping for all participants and their families at the Badin Group Campground, and there's a pre-race party Saturday night at the campground. Success of the event can be attributed to key sponsor, Uwharrie Capital Corp.
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